Behind The Scenes

Category Archives: Collections

Henry James’s (and Later William Wyler’s) Washington Square

This Friday, the New-York Historical is presenting William Wyler’s The Heiress (1949) as part of our free Friday night film series. Based on Henry James’ 1880 story Washington Square, the film stars  Olivia de Havilland as a young  woman who falls in love with a handsome young man (Montgomery Clift), despite the objections of her emotionally [...]

Let’s Pretend It’s Spring in New York

It is still so cold in New York. We had a Nor’easter Bomb yesterday and now it’s still cold and dreary, so let’s fantasize about the warmth and sun and color that comes in spring. Technically that’s supposed to be right now, but we’ll just have to dream for another week or so. The above [...]

What Typhoid Mary Meant In 19th-Century New York

On March 27, 1915, Mary Mallon, known as Typhoid Mary, was permanently quarantined at this hospital on North Brother Island. From 1900 until her second quarantine in 1915, she was presumed to have infected 49 people, three of whom died, due to her being an asymptomatic carrier. Typhoid is a bacterial disease commonly spread by [...]

Woolworth’s May Be Gone, But We Still Have The Woolworth Building

On February 22, 1878, F. W. Woolworth opened the first Woolworth store in Utica, New York. That store failed, but he reopened in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and began one of the most successful chain businesses in America. As a kid, I remember our local Woolworth’s as a one-stop shop, with everything from halloween costumes to alarm [...]

Monopoly: Causing Family Fights Since 1935

In February 1935, Parker Brothers began selling their classic board game Monopoly, a game of money and real estate that has become an American favorite. It has also caused numerous screaming matches in my household. How many of your readers have flipped a table when your friend has blocked you from being able to build [...]

Photos: New York Is A Winter Wonderland, No Matter The Year

New York is a magical place in the winter—just look at the snow outside right now! From the holiday decorations to ice skating in Central Park, there’s always something fun to do in the winter, even if it’s just watching the snowflakes fall outside your window. Below are some of our favorite images of the city [...]

Nineteenth-Century Toys, No Need To Recharge!

These days many kids are used to solving puzzles on an iPad or reading along with a DVD. But our holiday exhibit, Batteries Not Included: Toys and Trains at the New-York Historical Society, shows you don’t need an electricity source to have fun! The New-York Historical Society has a collection of approximately 3,000 toys and games, [...]

Washington Slept Here: How Did The President Sleep At Valley Forge?

On December 19, 1777, General George Washington and his Continental Army set up camp in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania for the winter ahead. Having just fought the Battle of White Marsh, the troops were weary and weak, and many traveled without shoes. That winter of 1777-1778 would live in infamy, as the troops suffered awful conditions. [...]

Enjoy This Keith Haring Mural In Your Home…For Just $10 Million!

Wish you had an original Keith Haring work in your home? The luxury can come built in for just $10 million! According to New York Magazine, this TriBeCa home used to be a part of the School for Visual Arts while Keith Haring was a student, and he painted this wall in his signature style. [...]

Happy Thanksgivukkah!

Tomorrow is the 150th anniversary of Thanksgiving becoming a national holiday, thanks to Abraham Lincoln. But for the first time since 1888, the holiday will coincide with the first day of Hanukkah. So celebrate now, because this is not going to happen for another 70,000 years (give or take). The above Hanukkah lamp, or Hanukkiot, was [...]